Travel is stressful, and no one can deny that, but can you imagine what it must be like to tote your favorite furry friends with you? It can be difficult to navigate airline and international rules for traveling with pets, and that's why we've rounded up some of the best tips for how to have an easier time traveling with your critter. Read on to find out what you can do to be better prepared yourself.
Research Airline Rules
Every individual who travels by air needs to get the green light from the airline to travel with their pet. This means having the correct dimension pet carrier, filing the proper paperwork and educating yourself on where your pup or cat is going to be when the plane takes off. For domestic flights, there are usually fewer rules but don't expect Marmaduke to occupy the window seat. Dogs over a specified size will be transported in the baggage compartment of the plane. Most airlines have areas of their websites that show you what to bring and what to expect when planning to travel with your pet. So look it all up and make a checklist if you must or you and your pooch could be left on the tarmac.
Verify Travel Rules for Foreign Countries
Each nation has its own regulations and restrictions on which animals are allowed into their country. This can vary greatly depending on where you're going and how tight the rules are. So you should always do your research on if it's okay to bring that animal into your destination country without being slapped with a fine or turned around at customs.
Again, airline websites are extremely helpful when it comes to this kind of stuff, you really just have to know where to look. There are areas on sites for most airlines that offer international flight where you can look up the nation you plan on traveling to for detailed info on what's allowed and what is not. If you're having trouble finding out anything on your own, try calling up a travel agency or the airline help desk to point you in the direction of where to find out if Fido can come to Jamaica with you or not. It never hurts to ask, and, in the long run, you could regret it if you don't.
As with all things, there are definitely exceptions to travel rules when someone is traveling with a service dog of one nature or another. Airlines will have their own separate requirements for these animals –commonly allowing them to sit at the passenger's feet on board the aircraft free of charge. However, you must have the proper paperwork that shows that the dog has been properly trained and is certified as a service animal. Also, you always have to register the animal in advance with whichever airline you're traveling on.